By Lianna Mueller
In November of 2016, I had the most incredible experience of my life. I went with Renewal Ministries on a mission trip to Rwanda, led by the dynamic duo Lloyd and Nancy Greenhaw. Going on the trip was the fruit of years of prayers, tears, being immersed in other cultures, and faith. All glory be to God for the miraculous way in which He paved the way for the Rwanda trip to happen!
I had been interested in mission work for many years. There are many great organizations serving the material needs of people. This is very important and a tenet of our faith. However, I was grieved to find that many organizations do not spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or do not even allow the sharing of one’s faith. From sea to sea, and the islands in between, people are yearning for Christ. People are literally dying every day without having heard the Gospel. Not only that, people are living lives without purpose. They are living life without hope. They are eating the lie that so many societies feed that there is no God, or that God is irrelevant. They have no idea of why they are here on this earth, Who has created them and loves them and desires to spend a joyful eternity with Him. The ache for the Lord and the need for healing is present in every nation. It is my love for the people of every nation and my love for Christ that compelled me to seek out mission work.
Originally I heard about Ralph Martin and Renewal Ministries from my father, years ago. As a charismatic Catholic, I was seeking other Catholics on fire for the Kingdom. I also prayed that one day I would have the opportunity to go on a mission. I had experienced Christ’s healing love in a powerful way. My heart ached to be able to share that love with my brothers and sisters in other nations. In 2015, I attended my first Gathering. Each Gathering has been miraculous in its own way. In 2016, a miracle of God’s provision occurred through a fellow attendee of the Gathering. The door opened for me to attend a mission. My heart overflowed with gratitude. My heart had been in Africa for years, though I still had never set foot there. Plans were made to go to Rwanda.
The Holy Spirit worked marvelously in each area of the mission. For me, the experience was a taste of heaven on earth! This taste came from the smooth flights, to the friendships made and the way in which the team worked together and complemented each other, to seeing God’s hand at work in those we ministered to. We witnessed and heard of many healings of marriages. Many people also had deep-rooted issues related to the genocide, and we prayed with them using the Unbound method. They discovered the grace to forgive, which eased a burden from their lives and healed relationships. Sometimes we heard of instant healings of relationships, such as an unexpected visit or phone call from the other person shortly after prayer! I had the impromptu opportunity to preach to street boys in a shelter, and I pray they know the fullness of God’s love. We were also invited to pray with people at a palliative care center, people suffering unspeakably with various ailments. The people were so grateful. One elderly woman even found the strength to dance with us! What an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to dance together again in heaven! God’s grace truly abounds in the beautiful country of Rwanda, possessing not only a magnificent landscape, but also resilient people able to turn to God and keep faith even after the most terrible tragedy.
My trip to Rwanda confirmed to me that I would like to continue mission work, perhaps even living abroad as a missionary at a later point. I am now pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, with the goal of combining therapeutic knowledge and techniques with faith. I know this will come in handy on the mission field. My current work is service to refugee women and children. For now, I am continuing my pursuit of mission work in whatever form the Lord sets in front of me, whether it be to a refugee at work, someone I meet at the store, or a close loved one. I look forward to the day I can again serve Him in Africa, or wherever He pleases. I am forever blessed for the trip to Rwanda with Renewal Ministries and for the fruit borne by their work!